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Green Standards Week drives tech sustainability strategies

Paris meeting to accelerate work on ‘green ICT’ policies and standards

Geneva, 01 August 2012 – ITU’s second annual ‘Green Standards Week’ (GSW), to be held in Paris from 17-21 September, will stimulate the creation of international ‘green ICT’ standards with a view to further expanding the capabilities of information and communication technologies to boost environmental efficiency across all industry sectors.

Organized by ITU and TechAmerica Europe and hosted by Microsoft, it will gather policy makers, regulators, private sector entities, research institutes and standards development organizations (SDOs) to discuss the standardization of ICT from an environmental perspective. A High-Level Segment featuring key industry and government figures will discuss the role of global standards in spreading access to green ICT, as well the development of new standards that reflect the interdependence of industry sectors.

The main focus of this year’s forum will be the impact of ICTs on the environment. Forum sessions on e-waste challenges and ‘greening’ the ICT supply chain will look at means of minimizing the life-cycle environmental impact of ICT products. An information and training session will detail ITU’s standardized Methodologies for the Environmental Impact Assessment of ICTs (Recommendation ITU-T L.1400 series). And finally, a forum on environmental sustainability for the ICT sector will expand discussions to address the long-term health of the ICT sector, providing insight into the ICT industry’s reaction to the outcomes of Rio+20 in June.

The first day of GSW will feature a gala award ceremony for the second ITU Green ICT Application Challenge, rewarding outstanding concept papers around the topic of “Sustainable Energy for All”.

Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General: “Environmental sustainability has rightly become one of the highest priorities for policy makers worldwide. We now recognize that, over the long term, economic growth at the expense of the environment breeds greater costs than it does benefits. We need decisive actions that can deliver on the world’s commitment to a greener future – and the standards being produced by ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T) represent just such actions.”

John Vassallo, Vice President EU Affairs, Microsoft: “It is with great pleasure that Microsoft will host the second ITU Green Standards Week and, on Microsoft’s behalf, I thank ITU for the leading role it is playing in the development of green ICT standards. ICT is so deeply engrained across industry sectors that any study of ICT is necessarily inter-disciplinary in nature. Green Standards Week is therefore an ideal opportunity to ensure a holistic approach to the creation of green ICT policies and standards.” 

The enabling power of ICTs will be a special focus, with discussions on how standards might increase other industry sectors’ adoption of green ICTs. Smart grids is one case in point: a session on ‘boosting smart grids through energy-efficient ICT’ will look at how new standards in this field will increase the rollout of smart electricity grids globally, while a forum on smart cities will discuss how ICT can offer smarter, greener ways of life to the world’s rapidly urbanizing population.

ITU will also take the opportunity to launch several new reports on ICT-enabled environmental sustainability, many of which have been authored by leading experts from ITU’s new academic membership. Among these, three reports discussing the climate-monitoring and disaster-warning potential of submarine communications cables will fuel a focused discussion on this topic on 20-21 September.

The second ITU Green Standards Week is sponsored by Orange, Telefónica, Huawei and Fujitsu, and is being organized in partnership with the European Commission; the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC); United Nations University (UNU); the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE); the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO); and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI).

Participation is free of charge and open to all. Journalists wishing to attend should mail toby.johnson@itu.int

For more information, please contact:

Toby Johnson
Senior Communications Officer,
tel +41 22 730 5877
mobile +41 79 249 4868
email toby.johnson@itu.int 
Sarah Parkes
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
tel +41 22 730 6135
mobile +41 79 599 1439
email sarah.parkes@itu.int   
 
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